March 13, 2020

How hospitals can handle an influx of patients with COVID-19

By Kelley Luckstein
ABC News logo

ABC News
by Delaram J. Taghipour and Vinayak Kumar

Dr. Pritish Tosh, the medical director for Emergency Management at the Mayo Clinic, said “it is common for most major hospitals to have plans in place in case of any crises that arise or may occur.” With COVID-19 that crisis may be around the corner…The public frequently wonders whether or not there will be ventilator shortages if an influx of COVID-19 cases come into the hospital. "What's under recognized is that the machine itself is just one aspect of having a ventilated patient. You have several other very notable issues that limit ventilation, such as staffing if there is a shortage of respiratory therapists and supply issues with things like ventilator tubing, for example," said Tosh. After all, a ventilator cannot run itself.

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Context: Dr. Pritish Tosh is a Mayo Clinic infectious disease expert. Dr. Tosh's interests include emerging infections and preparedness activities related to them, ranging from collaborating with the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group in basic science vaccine development to hospital systems research related to pandemic preparedness.

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